So when I heard tell of this erotic fashion show called "Feel Me" goin' down at Holga's art colony downtown, I was all up in that like Orlando Bloom in Kate Bosworth. I hit up the Jettster on the two-way, and told her to meet me out front of Wayne Rainey's gallery/low-rent apartment complex at Third Street and Garfield, across the street from Johnny Chu's Fate cafe.
By the time I'd parked the Impala, there was already a crowd millin' before the catwalk that had been set up on the patio of the two-story complex. The lezzie Bai Ling was hanging to one side, cold-chillin' with a tallboy in each hand, but no honey on her arm as per usual. She hands me one of the drinks she'd copped from a nearby Circle K.
"This is for you, playboy," she tells me, passing over a refreshing Sparks malt beverage. "Anyone ever tell you that you look like Bizarre from D12? Minus the shower cap, of course."
"I love you, too, Jett," I say, cracking open the can. "So what, no girlfriend this week?"
"Like Jay-Z says, 'I've got 99 problems, but a bitch ain't one.' Let's check out the art, yo."
'Round the corner to the right is the art gallery proper where all of the pieces are "porn-inspired" for this particular show. Some of the highlights of the two-room exhibition: Vicki Olsen's painting Lick the Toad, which shows a girl tonguing a frog's hiney; a small black TV in one corner showing a porno foursome getting busy on someone's couch; and various objects suspended from the ceiling such as a plastic vagina, a purple dildo, and a sex doll with a big plastic cock sticking out of its posterior. Not exactly the Whitney Biennial, but if the point was to turn everyone off freakin' for the evenin', it worked!
Outside, we run into artist Jason Rudolph Pena, 25, a roly-poly dude with a beard who's known for doing live-action paintings at Phoenix clubs. You can check out his sexy, sophisticated portraits of local ladies at www.jasonrudolphpena.com. He describes his work as "dark, urban romanticism," but unlike the stuff up this night, his isn't XXX-rated.
"I like Gustav Klimt, Frida Kahlo and Norman Rockwell," says Pena of his influences. "People are surprised when I mention Rockwell. A lot of it is cheesy, but when you get into the art he did toward the end of his life, you see he had some deep thoughts behind some of it. Plus he was also an amazingly skilled artist."
"Do you have anything up in here tonight?" I ask.
"Nah, I'm just here for the fashion show," he explains. "There's a hair stylist named Jenny Wofford, who I'm going to collaborate with. She's designed some hair styles, and I'm going to use her designs as reference material for my paintings, which will be up at a show at the reZurrection Gallery on June 12."
"We'll have to check it out. What do you think about the theme of this show?" asks Jett.
He glances back at the door to the gallery. "Well, it's a little risqué. I've seen it before, but shock-value art doesn't do anything for me. That's kind of been done to death."
About that time, we hear the band begin to blast, and so we head over to where they're playing next to the still-empty catwalk. It's a power-pop quintet called Jenna's Arrival (www.jennasarrival.com), which sounds a little like a mix of Jimmy Eat World, Weezer and Green Day. After they rock the crowd with a set of four or five songs, a b-boy troupe takes up the slack with some break-dancing. The J-girl and I scoot up next to the lead singer Anthony Gomez, who, like the rest of his boys, is in the early-twentysomething range. The tall, handsome, spiked-haired vocalist explains the origin of the Valley-based band's moniker.
"Jenna's Arrival is named after Jenna Jameson. See, I was watching one of her pornos with one of my friends, and she started to masturbate, and finally "arrive," or climax, so I asked the guys in the band what they thought of Jenna's Arrival, and they loved it. She knows about the band. I've met her a couple of times. Our drummer Rob Alten's dad actually lives right near her, over in Scottsdale/Paradise Valley."
"Really?!" exclaims Jett, suddenly extremely interested in all things Alten. "Well, please tell all, Rob."
"I didn't know it was her at the time," claims the surfer-dude-looking percussionist in a red tee shirt with brownish-blond bangs falling over his eyes. "My friend works at a steak house restaurant, and I was helping him deliver food to her place. They were making a movie, and there was film stuff all over the place outside."